theraineysisters knitting and so much more

October 12, 2009

From Susan — from 3 to 983

Filed under: Susan's Aeolian Shawl — lv2knit @ 7:18 pm

You start with 3 [sts] and end with 983.  And there is a wild ride in between!  I am talking about the Aeolian Shawl (free pattern from Knitty) which is my latest FO.  I started this at the end of August and finished it over a week ago, but could not bring myself to block it.  It has a strange shape (like a Cylon raider) and I thought it would be a complete PITA to pin out. 

It was not as bad as I expected because I just eyeballed it and let it do its own thing.  Here is my Cylon Raider being blocked:

Aeolian Blocking by you.
Aeolian Shawl

Aeolian Blocking by you.

If you know this shawl, you’ll see that I changed the center back point: I did not like the plain “tail” so I continued the floral motif all around the border (much harder than it sounds!).  And, do you see the beads?  The hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of beads (~2500??!!??)?  All placed one by one onto the appropriate stitch using the crochet hook method?

Beads by you.

The shawl being modelled by Lettie:

Aeolian 014 by you.

Compare to the shriveled, pre-blocked shawl:

Vesterheim 004 by you.

Project Notes:

Grade: A
Pattern: the Aeolian Shawl
Size Made: Largest version (there are three sizes given)
Yarn: Baruffa Cashwool (1460 yds/100 gms, 100% extra fine merino, color: Eggplant 26809) — the yarn was a lovely gift, thanks to “RH” (mwah!!)
Beads: Japanese Size 8 (~2500)
Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm) Addi Lace

I loved making this shawl.  It was well written and very creatively done.  The only errors were of my own making (though none made it through to the end product that I am aware of — fingers XXX’d).  I would never make this again UNLESS I were to knit a bead-free version!  The beads slow you down to a crawl.  There are also a lot of nupps, which do not bother me, but do bother some other knitters.   I love the complexity of the design and the visual impact.  The beads give my shawl some heft, which I think is nice because the yarn is SO lightweight.  All in all, I am extremely pleased.  Thank you, Knitty!

PS — it snowed again today 🙁

PPS — I was asked why I did not pre-string the beads onto the yarn.  Generally, I prefer to pre-string beads because it is faster in the long run, BUT they do not knit into the project the same way (see picture below).  Placing the beads as you go was the method chosen by the designer.  Also, for a project of this size, the yarn would completely disintegrate if you had to push 2500 beads along cobweb laceweight for 1100 yards.  But, as I said, it sure did take a long time to add those beads!!

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